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tv   Meet the Press  NBC  April 5, 2021 2:00am-3:00am PDT

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this sunday, a fourth covid wave. >> so much reason for hope, but right now i'm scared. >> cases are climbing. >> we need to hold out just a bit longer, and give vaccines a chance to really get the upper hand. >> even as vaccinations hit 4 million a day. >> too many americans are acting as if this fight it is not. >> states are dropping restri domestic air travel is up as the cdc relaxes guidance for vaccinated people. but is the u.s. getting brack to normal too soon? >> my guests this morning,
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epidemiologist. dr. osterholm. president biden is making his pitch for a $2 trillion infrastructure package. how will repay for it? >> it just raises taxes. >> and how much will he spend. >> my guests this morning, transportation secretary pete buttigieg and republican senator roger wicker of mississippi. taking a stand, after president biden weighed in -- >> i think today's professional athletes are acting incredibly responsible. >> major league baseball pulls the all-star game out of atlanta, the latest of 200 companies and organizations to condemn georgia's new voting restrictions. >> this is something that's more than money. this is about protecting the voices of our people. >> it means cancel culture and partisan athletes are coming for your business. >> what's next for the fight over voting rights. >> joining me for insight and
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analysis, yamiche alcindor, rich lowry, editor of national review and maria teresa kumar, president of voter latino. welcome to sunday. it's plets. "meet the press." good sunday morning. happy easter and happy passover. the backdrop of the current political fights on covid, the economy, immigration and voting rights is a country still on edge despite rising optimism. consider friday alone, an attack on the u.s. capitol left a police officer dead and another injured. shaking washington's return to normalcy. the cdc announces vaks naelted americans are travel without self-quarantine. cases rising in 31 states over the past two weeks.
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major league baseball announced it was moving the all-star game and the draft out of atlanta. all week in a courtroom in minneapolis, the nation watched the personal trauma of eyewitnesss forced to relive the violence of the final minutes of george floyd's life. it's perhaps because of this uncertain backdrop that joe biden officially declared the era of small government over by deciding the go big on infrastructure. he's hoping to drive a wedge between republican elected officials and their voters, putting his political capital behind legislation that on paper is widely popular. the covid relief plan had 70% report. americans in theory also favor infrastructure overall. 79% support over all of roadways, bridges. while bride den is going big on infrastructure, it's what he chose not to go big on. think guns and immigration. it does reenforce this idea that he's still a pragmatic politician at heart. with republican officials seizing on the size of the plan and the tax increases democrats
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are proposing to pay for, fighting for this popular infrastructure proposal may not be any easier than any other washington fight he could choose to pick. >> it is big, yes. it's bold, yes. and we can get it done. >> president biden rolling out the next phase of his economic plan this week in pittsburgh. >> it's a once-in-a-generation investment in america, unlike anything we've seen or done. >> the president's proposal includes $620 billion for trfgs infrastructure, $650 billion on broadband and green water and energy, upgrading homes and schools, $400 billion for home and community-based care for the elderly and disabled. former president trump and congressional republicans left a bipartisan deal on the table, turning promises on infrastructure into a long-running joke. >> the american people deserve
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the best infrastructure anywhere in the world. >> we will create the infrastructure of the future. >> infrastructure week. >> we're at the end of what the president called infrastructure week. >> last week was a great week, infrastructure week. >> how many times have we heard this is infrastructure week of the last four years? >> now biden is determined to push a bill through over republican opposition. >> i'm going to fight him every step of the way because i think this is the wrong prescription for america. >> paying for his plan by primarily raising the corporate tax rate from 21 to 28%. >> it seems less about infrastructure, more about tax increases. >> joe biden wants to come along and jack up taxes. >> still biden is counting on the fact that public works projects are popular back home, despite their objections to the plan, some republicans already appear to be promoting them. >> i was able to get some money in there specifically for the completion of quarter h in the
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appalachian highway system. >> i can't imagine somewhere in a multi trillion dollar bill there wouldn't be money for the bridge. >> like president obama. >> mr. boehner, mr. mcconnell, help us -- >> i think the republican voters are going to have a lot to say about whether we get a lot of this done. >> while most democrats are praising the president, some have concern. >> i'll be sensitive to any tax increases that hurt the families in my district. >> it's not clear whether the white house can unite progressives and moderates around the plan. >> we need to go way higher. we can do $10 trillion. >> to get onto reconciliation, you have to vote to proceed. i told them i will not vote to proceed until we try. >> you believe you can get ten republicans on an infrastructure bill? >> i sure do. >> joining me is the secretary of transportation, pete buttigieg. mr. secretary, welcome back to "meet the press." >> thank you.
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good to be back. >> i want to start with yourself and senator wicker i have later, define infrastructure as this administration sees it. we're already having a debate of bridge, roads, that's infrastructure, elder care is not. define infrastructure view in your view. >> infrastructure is the foundation that makes it possible for americans to thrive. what we know is that that foundation has been crumbling, whether we talk about care infrastructure or roads and bridges and the other things that i work on as the secretary of transportation. we have fallen to 13th in the world in terms of our transportation information and we're continuing to head in the wrong zreks because we've been failing to invest for a generation. the american jobs plan is a chance to fix that. >> this part is approximately $2 trillion. the next part in three weeks is another trillion or so here. is this being broken up because
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you think, all right, the bricks and mortar part of infrastructure we can find support, the social we can't. >> i think we can find a lot of support for all the elements of the president's agenda. certainly what we're seeing with the american jobs plan is overwhelming support from the american people. in many ways it seems like we've convinced americans, now we have to get washington to follow suit. there's a lot of support for how the president is proposing the pay for this. that's part of why this is a compelling package. we know we as a country can make big investments in infrastructure. we need to make sure corporations are paying their fair share. that's what this plan will do. >> let me start first with how long you'll look for bipartisan support. it was about this time in 2009 that president obama and vice president biden rolled out a health care plan and spent six months convinced because polling
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told them there was bipartisan support. individual lawmakers you thought there was bipartisan support and ran into a party brick wall there. how much time do you give to bipartisanship? >> well, the president really believes in a bipartisan approach. it's one of the reasons i'm constantly having conversations with members of congress on both sides of the aisle gathering ideas. the president has a clear vision. as he said, this has to get done. he's asking for congress to make major progress on this by memorial day. the bottom line is we have to deliver for the american people. we can't let politics slow this down to where it doesn't actually happen. >> it looks from this observer's standpoint that the administration looks like it pants bipartisan support more than democratic leadership. is there patience less than the president's? >> you'd have to ask them.
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i believe that they are just as interested in trying to get somewhere that's a win-win. at the end of the day, yes, it's the president's belief. but it's also the belief of the american people. the government works better when you've got both parties actually talking to each other, negotiating, working in good faith. that's what we're working to do around infrastructure. if there's any issue around which it can be done, surely it's this one. at the end of the day, it will be up to the other side of the aisle whether they're ready to vote for a package that maybe isn't perfect for everybody. now is the season to hear any ideas they want to bring to the table. the president is open to that. we've had two oval office meetings from both sides of the aisle. mostly corporate tax rates. the idea is, if you've got another ide there's three ways to fund projects. there's user fees, gas tax into
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a user fee category. straight up, corporate taxes, income taxes here. then there's debt -- deficit spending. does president biden guarantee he'll sign a bill that is totally paid for, or will there be some deficit spending in this bill? >> well, i'm not going to get ahead of the process in congress. what i will say is that the vision the president put forward is fully paid for. across 15 years, it would raise all the revenue needed for these once-in-a-lifetime investments. again, it's important to point out that the american people agree with us, because we've seen corporations paying zero. we're just asking corporations to pay their fair share, at a rate, by the way, that would be lower than it's been for most of my life. again, if folks on the hill have other ideas about how to pay for it, we're going to be interested to hear those ideas. there's a clear vision to pay for this bill in full.
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>> it's not lost on me to say, there's a vision to pay for this bill in full, but if a bill that funds this infrastructure project comes to the president's desk and it does not include enough to pay for this bill and it's deficit speeding, it doesn't sound like he would somehow veto it? if the congress decides to deficit spend, so be it? >> that decision is very literally above my pay grade. we'll see how this thing looks by the time it reaches the president which we hope is quite soon. what i'll say is we've got a great proposal for how we can do this that's responsible, that keeps the american economy competitive. if there are other idea, now is a great time to hear it. >> you call this a jobs bill. the acronym j.o.b.s. you want to be seen as a jobs bill. we'll have a couple more months just like it, if not better, as we reopen due to the pandemic
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restrictions. it's natural. do you worry that will recede the sense of urgency for this plan and make democrats hesitant to spend this much money? >> no. because those jobs numbers which are good news still reflect an economy coming out of a deep hole coming out of the pandemic. the americans jobs plan is about a generational investment. it's going to create 19 million jobs. we're talking about economic growth that's going to go on for years and years. yeah, the rescue plan was largely about getting through the season, getting america back from the brink. i want to be clear, the american jobs plan is not about short-term stimulus. it's about making sure that america is positioned to compete for the next decade and for the generation ahead. we know china and other our strategic competitors are already making major investments. it's time for america to lead
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the way again. those 19 million jobs we're about to create go way beyond some monthly or quarterly report. this is about the future for our country. >> what is america going to look like in 2035 if you implement this plan? >> by 2035, america will be much more economically competitive. stronger in terms of leading the world because of the research and development investments that are here, and we will be on track to avoid climate disaster because of the provisions for things like electric vehicles. just as importantly, because we will have made these investments here starting in 2021, those electric vehicles that more and more people around the world are driving will have been increasingly made in america by union workers. this is what you get by planning for the long term. we're still coasting off infrastructure choices made in the 1950s. now is our chance to make infrastructure choices for the future that will serve us well, in the 2030s and on into the middle of the century when we
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will be judged for whether we met this moment here in the 2020s. >> secretary pete buttigieg, appreciate you coming on. we'll see how long this takes. thank you. >> thanks for having me. >> joining me is republican senator roger wicker, from the transportation committee, focused almost solely on infrastructure in this country. welcome back to "meet the press." >> thank you. appreciate it. >> the american society of civil engineers gave an infrastructure report card for the country, c minus. the state of mississippi was slightly worse, bridges by the civil engineers were given a d minus, drinking water a d, we know about the jackson, mississippi, issue, roads a d plus. how badly does the country and mississippi in particular need a massive infrastructure investment? >> chuck, thanks for having me on. let me take a minute, first of all. your panel will probably be
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talking about the attack on the capitol. i just want to say our heartfelt condolences to the family and friends of our capitol policeman, billy evans. he gave his life for our country. i think i would be remiss in not mentioning that. >> we're definitely going to honor him later, but i'm glad you said that. thank you. >> listen, i'm all for working with the administration on an infrastructure bill, and yes, we need it in mississippi and i voted for it as a state legislator and member of the committee. i think i can work with pete buttigieg. i spoke to him the day he was nominated. we've been trading phone messages for the last three our four days in an effort to talk about this bill. i think pete and i could come up with an infrastructure bill.
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what the president proposed this week is not an infrastructure big. it's a huge tax increase, for one thing. it's a tax increase on small businesses, on job creators in the united states of america. chuck, you made a statement that i just have to wonder about. you said it seems the administration is more eager to have bipartisanship than members of congress are. how can the president expect to have bipartisanship when the proposal is a repeal of one of our signature issues in 2017e c made the united states finally more competitive when it comes to the way we treat job creators. he reverses all that. i'll tell you what -- he says no one will pay extra taxes if they
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make less than $400,000 a year. that may be true. we'll have to see the details there. but under this tax increase bill, a lot of people making $1 to lose their jobs because of the extra burden this plan would put on job creators. >> look, what they're talking about, though, is lowering -- is basically finding a middle ground between where the corporate tax rate was in 2017 and hat the corporate tax rate is today. they would like to move it to 28%. i am curious. this tax cut that you guys put through in 2017, there were various promises made, that they would pay for themselves. hasn't come close to that. it was going to produce four, five, 6% growth. we didn't even get 3%. at one point former president trump said this thing is going to pay off the debt like it's water. as you know, the debt is way up.
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you look at this tax cut proposal, when most of the benefits seem to go to stockholders, with corporations didn't do what you thought they were going to do which is take the savings and invest. they instead did stock buybacks. wasn't this tax cut an economic fail your? >> no, it wasn't at all. until the pandemic hit in march of 2020, the tax cuts were working just as we expected to them to. unemployment was down. job creation among african-americans was up. job creation among veterans was up, among women in the workforce. there was more participation. the fact that we had lowered the tax burden on job creators, particularly small business, which is the job -- the great job engine in the united states
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states of america, was working fine. some of these predictions you mentioned i never participated. >> i understand that. >> what i said was, you m just that. >> let me ask you this. how would you pay for infrastructure? where would you get the money? >> listen, i'm open to suggestion about that, but i have two bipartisan bills that i've introduced. senator stabenow is on an advanced -- >> i understand, investing in municipal bonds, basically dead finance. >> mr. menendez is on another bill of mine. i'm up to looking at ways -- for example, mayor pete buttigieg's home state of indiana did.
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the very worst way to finance this is to put a major tax burden on small businesses that create the jobs in the united states of america -- >> should big businesses pay? >> i'm open to compromise. we've got to pay for it. >> how about big business. >> the worst way to pay for it is to tax job creators. >> let's not conflate. should the big businesses that benefit from smooth-running roads and really good ports and airports that improve delivery mechanisms, should they contribute something to our infrastructure? >> a whole bunch of companies that pay zip into the federal government coffers. >> i'm all for looking at ways to pay for it. let me again say that states like our neighboring state of alabama, tennessee, arkansas, they've all found a way, a fair way that the public will go for to pay for roads and bridges. when you talk about big businesses and you're saying we
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should raise their tax rate from 28%, let united states of america.going it's the very reason we lowered those tax rates in 2017. it's a plan that worked. if the president wants a bipartisan plan, how can he possibly try to get something passed that every single -- that repeals a bill that every single republican in the senate voted for in 2017? to me i don't see the bipartisan gesture there. >> one last question here. did you guys blow it? you had four years to do an infrastructure bill. you had the presidency, you had the senate and the house for a bit. did you blow it? >> no. as a matter of fact, we passed infrastructure bills, the fast act on two occasions. yes, i would love to have passed
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a larger infrastructure bill. i certainly hope we can do that. i don't want to do it by raising taxes and cutting jobs for americans. >> senator roger wicker, republican from mississippi, i appreciate you coming on and sharing your perspective. thank you, sir. happy easter. >> thank you, chuck. when we come back, can the rising pace of vaccinations stay ahead of the virus? i'll talk with epidemiologist dr. osterholm next. before we go to break, u.s. capitol police officer kenny shaver released from the hospital yesterday. a bit of good news, after that attack on a barricade about 100 yards from the capitol. good to see the cheers of shaver in the air as well. we also want to take a moment to remember capitol police officer billy evans. he died in that attack. an 18-year veteran of the force, a member of the first responders
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without the unnecessary fees. talk to us today, so we can help you go from living. welcome back. this week the u.s. hit a milestone. more than 100 million americans have gotten at least one covid-19 dose. at the same time, cdc director rochelle walensky personally reaching out to governors to reinstate restrictions. 12 states have seen their highest case counts in two months. states are raising to get ahead of new variants which are spreading me is dr. michael osterholm from the university of
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minnesota. last time you were on, the metaphor wauz we're in the eye of the hurricane, that basically things felt rosie. you said this is going to get worse. do you believe we're in the midst of this fourth surge, and are we still sitting on a category five or do you think this is a manageable fourth surge? >> well, thank you, chuck, for having me again. first of all, let me say at this time we really are in a category five hurricane status with regard to the rest of the world. at this point we will see in the next two weeks, the highest number of cases reportedly globally since the end of the pandemic. in terms of the united states, we're just at the beginning of this surge. we haven't even begun to see it yet. we have had over the course of the past year, surges of cases that occur in the upper midwest and northeast. we see big increases in cases through the southern sunbelt states, then the northeast and midwest come back. we're in the cycle where the upper midwest is just beginning
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to start this fourth surge. i think it was a wake-up call to everyone when michigan reported out 8400 new cases. we're seeing increases in icu hospitalizations in individuals between 30 and 50 years of age who have not been vaccinated. >> i want to actually put up some cdc headlines from the week. there was a little bit of confusion, and i want you to try to clear it up. i get there's guidelines and then there's interpreting the guidelines. we had cdc reiterating americans should limit their travel as the u.s. hits 30 million cases and, of course, they say fully vaccinated people can travel in the u.s. without tests or quarantines. then we had the cdc data suggesting vaccinated folks don't carry or spread virus. some scientists said whoa, whoa, whoa, we don't know if that tess case. the president of argentina apparently has covid after
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getting the sputnik vaccine. clear this up for us. should the cdc be clear on what our guidelines are? >> well, we all want to be clear. i do give the director of the t now. let me give an example on the airplane flight. when you get vaccinated, it's like buying a fireproof suit that works 99% of the time, but not all the time. why walk into a big fire if you don't have to. what they're basically saying is, yes yes, if you're vaccinated you can open up a lot of things in your life that you couldn't do before. now, if you know you're going to be walking into a fire, why do it? i think their message was completely consistent, although it may have confused the public. get vaccinated, that's your fireproof suit. don't put yourself in harm's wa. in terms of all the other recommendations we're looking at
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note, this b.1.1.7 varntd, the one from the u.k., how it's 50 to 100% more infectious, causes more severe illness 50 to 60% of the time. this is almost like having a whole new pandemic descending upon it. the only good news is our vaccine does work against it. >> i want to talk to you about what's nicknamed the eke mutation. it seems to be -- a calling card of these more virulent, more intense variants here. how concerned are you that this will get around our vaccines? >> i'm concerned about all the variants. before november, we really didn't understand that this virus would mutate as it does, and that in terms of its mutations, it can do one of three things. one, it can be much more infect
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infectious, two more severe illnesses. three, it can evade the i'm mine protection from the vaccine or from previously being vaccinated. the eke, that one does evade th natural infection. not totally, but surely compromises them. we're very worried about this. chuck, i'm more worried about what's coming down the pike over the next several years. right now, if you look at vaccine distribution around the world, ten countries have received about 80% of the vaccine. 30% haven't seen a drop of it. if we see this virus spread, they'll spit out variants over the course of the next years that in each and every instance could challenge our vaccines. this is why we need not only a u.s. response, but a global response to get as many people in low and middle-income countries vaccinated so we don't risk the actual capability of our own vaccines right here. this is about vaccine security
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with these new variants. >> how are we going to live our life the next year? should we get a third vaccine shot in the next six months? is whatever prepandemic normal was never coming back? >> i don't think so. i think we surely have that opportunity to come back. but in the meantime, please understand this b.1.1.7 varntd is a brand new ball game. right here in minnesota, we're now seeing the other aspect of this b.1.1.7 variant that hasn't been talked much about. that's the fact it inaffects kids. we quid can't see children under eighth grade weren't ill, didn't transmit to the rest of the community. that's why i was one of those people supporting reopening in-class learning. b.1.1.7 turns that on its head. these kids are major challenges
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in terms of how they transmit. the fact i can talk about 749 schools in minnesota in the last two weeks now having b.1.1.7 activity. >> right now you would close schools? >> this means we're going to have to reconsider what we're doing now and how we're doing this. that's all to get us to the summer. i do believe and i give the administration great credit for how it's bringing forward vaccine as quickly as possibility. at the same time, we're not going to have nearly enough in the six to eight weeks to get through the surge. we'll have to look at other revenues, just as every other country with a b.1.1.7 surge has had to do. >> what you just said there about in-person school and what's happening with this variant, i think a lot of scientists and the cdc will all be taking that into major consideration, what's going on there. that's a very uncomfortable development. dr. michael osterholm, as always, thank you for coming on and giving your straight talk to us. >> thank you.
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when we come back, can president biden muscle through another $2 trillion bill with republicans vowing to fight him every step of the way? former speaker of the house john boehner is promoting his new memoir, unloading on former colleagues. boehner's language is quite colorful in doing it. >> people everywhere living with type 2 diabetes are waking up to what's possible with rybelsus®. ♪ you are my sunshine ♪
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may lead to dehydration which may worsen kidney problems. wake up to what's possible with rybelsus®. ♪ please don't take my sunshine away ♪ you may pay as little as $10 per prescription. ask your healthcare provider about rybelsus® today. welcome back. the panel is with us, yamiche alcindor, amy walter, rich lowry, and maria teresa kumar, the president of voto latino. i want to start, yamiche, where former democratic senator heidi
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heitkamp did a pretty good job on npr at least giving words to the size of this package. she said you get a bridge, you get a bridge and you get a hospital. it's the oprah of infrastructure. this is a very, very big bill. there hasn't been anything like it in our lifetime. >> that's right. the biden administration is really banking on the idea that this big, bold plan that is not just about roads and bridges, but also about the way american society has functioned and the societal ills that have been allowed to happen, that this bill really focusing on americ people and allow them to continue to use what is their redefined idea of bipartisanship which is, as pete buttigieg just told you, the american people supporting that the republicans
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in washington may not. when we think about this bill, think about the money. some $400 billion for in-home health care. that's about women of color who are working in people's homes. it's about also helping societies and communities torn apart by highways, african-american communities. they're betting on the idea this bill, focusing on racial injustice, as well as roads and bridges, that that will be enough to run on in 2022 and beyond. >> one of the political fights is going to be over taxes. democrats are saying, hey, the public is in favor when you connect a tax increase to infrastructure. we all have the polls to prove that. i want to single out another poll this week, out of the state of california. this is mostly a poll about the recall, but our friends at ppic asked californians on their personal tax bills, federal, state and local, nearly 60% of californians said they think they're paying more than they should. 36% said they're paying about
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right. this tax argument is always a lot trickier than what your polls tell you, is it not? >> that's right. when you asked chuck to have senator wicker define the debate about infrastructure, he said this is not an infrastructure bill. it's a tax bill. when you ask folks the question, do you think people making over $400,000 a year should pay more in taxes? sure. do you think corporations should pay more in taxes? sure, i support that. at the end of the day it's how politicians define it. the biggest challenge right now for the biden administration is what secretary buttigieg put forward. this is a generational issue, this isn't just a short-term political gain. in politics, we live in the short term and not defined by generational, in large part because the voters don't trust that politicians can deliver on this.
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chuck, has been thus far, people were getting tangible things. they got money in their bank account and they're seeing vaccines going into people. this is going to take a long time to get through which gives republicans a long time to define it by taxes. >> rich lowry, what is the risk here? republicans are going to make the tax argument, and there's a comfortable place for the party, mostly a unifying issue in many ways. what's the risk in pursuing a tax strategy to define this bill? >> i don't think there's a huge risk at all. i think the corporate taxes, they're not really entirely paid by corporations. the rich supports that. consumers, shareholders, workers end up paying part of that burden. but just the number here, chuck, is astonishing. in 2019 the federal government -- the entirety of the federal government spent $4.4 trillion. biden is talking about basically matching that his first two bills out of the gate. i think this will be harder than
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the first one. it's harder to spend the second $2 trillion than the first $2 trillion. taxes adds another complicating factor. he has to worry about the obama stimulus example. you litter the landscape with money. at the end of the day, does anybody point to anything big that's changed. >> it took four years for people to see tangible results from obama care. >> maria teresa kumar, there's pragmatism that biden chose to pick here. he's going big on frchkt, very popular with the country. not going big on guns or immigration. because why? those are a bit more divisive. >> chuck, earmarks are back, and that says all we need to know right now about how biden is channeling the fdr but also lbj. lbj used earmarks as an opportunity to shore up republicans that were oftentimes not aligned with him.
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it's another arrow in his quiver to ensure this bill will get passed. it allows for him to put points on the board, not just with republicans. earmarks often creates an opportunity for bipartisanship. it also helps to shore up a lot of those democratic union workers that went republican. he's going to be putting money back in. who did he choose to be the head of his head of transportation? pete buttigieg. why? he's already looking into the midterm elections, recognizing the unions in the midwest are in trouble if they want to come back to the democratic party. that's one of the reasons why he's using it. is he going to be able to pass gun reform and immigration? this is another way of trying to figure out how do you make sure there's a political calculus to say, you were able to be bipartisan here. what will they basically not give back to their states because that none of them can answer, not mitch mcconnell.
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>> very quickly, rich lowry, i want to ask you about the impact of john boehner. boehner torches the right wing media ecosystem, all things freedom caucus, all things ted cruz as we noted. is he on to something and is this only going to split the party more? >> well, one, it wasn't a secret as you know, chuck, that john boehner couldn't stand sean hannity, ted cruz, all the people that made him have such a miserable experience as speaker of the house. what boehner calls the chaos caucus took over the republican party. if that was true, the republican party would be overly concerned with debt and spending. it's not. to look at why republican voters got so alienated from their own establishment, you have to go to immigration and the iraq war where the republican elite
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became out of truck without even knowing it and trump drove a truck through that gap. truck through that gap. >> very well put. we started with computers. we didn't stop at computers. we didn't stop at storage or cloud. we kept going. working with our customers to enable the kind of technology that can guide an astronaut back to safety. and help make a hospital come to you, instead of you going to it. so when it comes to your business, you know we'll stop at nothing. your mission: stand up to moderate to severe rheumatoid arthritis. and take. it. on... with rinvoq. rinvoq a once-daily pill can dramatically improve symptoms... rinvoq helps tame pain, stiffness, swelling. and for some, rinvoq can even significantly reduce ra fatigue. that's rinvoq relief.
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we can make it work for you and your business. welcome back. data download time. today marks the second easter celebrated in the time of covid. vaccinations and optimism aside, things are not back to normal in most churches. in early march, our friends at pew research found only 27% of u.s. adults were planning on going to church in person. in a non-pandemic year, 44% would be in the pews today. many have opted to attend church from home. 33% of church goers have worshipped online in the last month, down a bit from july of last year. 17%, by the way, have visited
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their congregations for in-person worship, up a smidge from july. what does this mean for the future of worship this country? this year gallop released some data showing the number of americans members of a church, mosque or synagogue has drops below 50% for the first time in this country. that's not to say it's technically the percentage of adults who claim they're religious. this is significant that less than half of americans are members of a specific house of worship. it's going to have long-term political consequences. when virtual services end and worshippers decide whether or not they physically want to go back to church, what decision will they make? it's part of the difficult decisions we're all going to have to make when the normal life that we all want to live begins again. when we come back, is the major league baseball decision to take the all-star game out of to take the all-star game out of georgia the
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welcome back. major league baseball became the highest profile entity, corporation, however you want to describe to essentially make not just a statement about georgia but a decision pulling all star game out. quite a few companies have come out against the new laws passed in georgia. some are going after texas. this boycott situation is complicated. in fact, stacey abrams herself, in what she said before baseball's decision and after, i think, shows you this discomfort. i have no doubt voters of color are willing to endure the hardships of boycotts. i don't think that's necessary yesterday. i'm disappointed the mlb is relocating the all star game. i commend them for speaking out. i respect boycotts. i don't want to see georgia
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families hurt. the boycott issue is a complicated one, particularly if you are a georgia public servant or you aspire to be one. >> it's complicated. what we are seeing that happened in georgia, with the republican legislation, is they are putting resin on the ball. they are cheating. they were the ones that created the current, existing laws on the books. the secretary of the state of georgia certified there was no cheating. now because they didn't like the facts that young people, people of color, african-americans, latino, asian came out, flexed their muscle, said they were going to have a different direction, they are changing the rules. you see all these corporations coming out talking about the importance of having access to voting booths, this is the fundamental issue in our country right now. it's democracy with the little
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d, not the big d. unless we get this right, more americans and more corporations have to come out. that's what we saw the result of the insurrection of january 6th, when individuals wanted to say a certified, fair election was not correct. >> amy, it was interesting to watch governor kemp yesterday. he seemed he was relieved not having to deal with donald trump. he can court his base again. at the same time, it does feel like georgia is in an awkward position. do you think the boycotts will have an affect? >> i don't know they will. i think what they do is reinforce the sense, as you pointed out, chuck, that there are two georgias as there are in so many states. you have the economic engines which are bluer and bluer, including the suburbs around the major areas, and the more rural and small towns becoming more
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republican. the other issue, i think, that is really important to appreciate is that voters also are seeing this really through the lens of politics. they believe -- i have sat in a couple focus groups recently. what i heard from more conservative swing voters and more middle of the road to liberal swing voters is that they think this is being done by both parties in order to win. one voter said, everybody just wants to win. they're going to do what they do and change these laws for politics, not for the issue that maria theresa brought up, a threat to democracy. >> an ends to justify the means mindset. l.v. granderson, connected what's happening in georgia to what we have been watching at the chauvin trial. he said, the chauvin case is less about the soul of america and more about the goal of america. who and what are we trying to be? are we ready to do the work to
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get there? not just quite a check or post a statement but do the work required to say, i like my tax cuts but i can't support politicians who would outlaw standing someone a bottle of water as they stand in line to vote. the impact of the chauvin trial i know just on myself and a lot of folks has been seeing up close and personal the trauma that eyewitnesses have. i say to myself, times that by 5,000 of events we don't watch as closely as we are watching this. >> the chauvin trial and that murder trial in the death of george floyd is connected to voting rights. it's about how african-americans and whether african-americans are allowed to survive and thrive in america and are able to have access to the principles that america holds up as near and dear, democracy. it is also your ability to pursue happiness and not have an
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officer deal on your neck for 9 minutes and 29 seconds. they absolutely connect. >> rich, republicans, are they risking something here by going -- by appearing to go too far? >> i think the attack on this georgia bill is an outrageous smear. it increases early voting hours. it tries to deal with the problem with long lines. the key security measure is you have to sign your driver's license number on an absentee ballot. >> i'm going to leave it there. this week, we kick off a new season of "meet the press reports." we deep into one issue. our first is on domestic extremism instates. watch the season premiere on thursday, streaming on nbc news now and on demand on peacock. that's all we have. thanks for watching. we will be back next week. because if it's sunday, it's "meet the press."
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we kick off a new week after easter gatherings and passover observances. more americans are flying as vaccinations continue to rise, reaching a new record of four million doses in arms. developing in florida, a desperate race against a toxic waste water reservoir on the verge of collapse. a state of emergency is declared a witness expected to testify in a few hours at the trial of derek chauvin who is accused of murdering george floyd last memorial day. new fallout this morning in
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